Like any other website, blogs and websites built with Wordpress (WP) have to be hosted on a server.
While WP offer hosting services themselves, it's always better to purchase hosting separately from your website builder because a hosting product sold by a competitor specializing in web hosting will usually cost less.
In this Wordpress web hosting guide, I will teach you everything you need to know about hosting a WP site or blog on your own web server.
Wordpress web hosting is usually a shared hosting plan with the Wordpress software installed and accessible via your control panel.
Sometimes, for bigger websites, you can also install the Wordpress on your VPS or dedicated server, but since the majority of you are bloggers and small business owners, I will focus on the shared Wordpress hosting plans.
If the last two sentences are gibberish to you, start by reading my introductory web hosting guide.
In order for your server to support the installation of Wordpress, you will need to have the following software installed:
This might sound like a world of trouble to a beginner, but it's actually pretty basic stuff and most hosting companies support Wordpress.
In fact, because it's so simple and because Wordpress is such a popular platform, the majority of web hosts offer a "1-click installation" for Wordpress.
I will cover the full range of installation options further down this article.
Since it's basically shared hosting, Wordpress hosting prices are rather low.
Depending on which provider you choose, you can get a shared hosting plan for anywhere between $1 - $15 per month.
In addition to the basic features you have to consider when choosing a web host, there are certain features of WP hosting that you need to look for .
Most self-respecting companies offer a 1-click installation of Wordpress on your server via the control panel.
It's not that installing Wordpress is so difficult or complicated; it's a service that can save you a few minutes and in my humble opinion, other hosts should really consider offering this service as well.
It's like coming home when a hot meal is waiting for you, instead of a cold meal and a microwave.
Like any other software, WP and its plugins are occasionally updated by the developers, and if your software isn't up to date your website might experience issues.
Updating your software regularly ensures you the latest security patches when vulnerabilities are discovered; not updating leaves your site exposed.
WP hosting companies which offer automatic updates are always preferable to those who don't by forcing you to update yourself.
Daily updates are obviously preferable to weekly updates.
In order to avoid losing data, you need to make sure your site is backed up as often as possible.
Many Wordpress hosting providers offer free backups to secure your data and content, and to ensure the least possible damage in case of unpleasant surprises.
If, for example, your site is hacked or the web server's physical storage fails, you will have a safety net.
Pro-tip: Always make sure to back up your data externally in addition to your host's service.
Shared hosting is great for beginners.
It's cheap, it provides all the features you need, and you don't need to perform server maintenance by yourself because your web host is taking care of that.
But if you didn't make sure you have easy upgrade options to a high-end solution when your website grows, you'll be forced to go through an unpleasant transition phase, or even worse - to change web hosts.
If you're currently hosting your site with a provider whom you're unhappy with, you need to search for painless transfer solutions.
You need to focus on hosts who provide you free transfers with no downtime, like InMotion Hosting.
It's common knowledge that the Wordpress CMS is pretty vulnerable in its "out-of-the-box" form.
In fact, the biggest risk for a small business owner is not data thieves, but hackers trying to reach your server and use it to send spam.
You can be hacked by having a weak password, owing to security issues in your WP theme or a plugin you're using, or through a vulnerability in your web hosting platform.
Because of that, the best WP hosting providers state clearly that they offer improved security which is optimized for Wordpress sites.
Pay attention to this promise when you choose your Wordpress hosting solution, along with auto updates for WP and its plugins.
Now that you're familiar with the pricing and the important features, all that's left for you to do is to choose a Wordpress hosting provider.
If you're not sure whether to get shared web hosting for your Wordpress blog or to stick with the free plan WP offers, I always recommend taking the paid option.
Because you want your own domain name, and you can afford the $10 per month (on average). If you can't afford it that's a whole different story, and you should just stick to the basics that Wordpress offers.
But you'd never become a super-blogger by sticking with the free services that WP provides.
So in this section I will focus on shared Wordpress hosting plans and discuss the different hosting providers for your WP site.
InMotion offers terrific hosting and an extremely elaborate education channel full of guides, tutorials and articles about WP, accessible through the Support Center link. (On the right side of the top menu).
With InMotion, Wordpress comes pre-installed on your server and you can start working immediately. You can choose which application you need (they offer several) during your checkout process.
Their WP hosting plans range between $4.89 and $10.49 per month, and you can enjoy a 90 day money-back guarantee.
As an official partner of Wordpress since 2005, BlueHost is optimized for hosting WP websites.
Aside from the standard one-click install feature, BlueHost also offers a simple one-click upgrade to a fully managed VPS or a dedicated server plan from your shared hosting plan.
WP hosting on BlueHost will cost you between $3.49 and $13.95 per month.
With the scalable WP hosting plans that Arvixe offers, almost any business can find a suitable deal.
The specialists at Arvixe pre-install and pre-configure WP for you when you subscribe for a plan, and will provide 24/7 support for any questions you might have.
You can secure a bi-annual shared hosting subscription for only $4 per month.
GreenGeeks is a provider that specializes in green hosting for your Wordpress site or blog section.
With the 1-click install option available on your cPanel, you can start working in no time, and their knowledge base is full of articles about WP hosting that can help you as you go along.
These guys offer a very affordable plan for the first 3 years for $3.96 per month, and up to $16.95 for the most advanced shared hosting plan.
iPage is a low cost provider that offers a WP installation with a single click.
For those of you looking to save on initial expenditures, iPage offers shared hosting for $1.99 per month for the first billing period (between one and three years).
You can add their "WP Essential" feature at $3 per month in order to enjoy improved speed, security, Wordpress features, and expert WP technical support.
Hostgator offers solid WP web hosting and a 45-day money back guarantee.
Hostgator's elaborate support portal is abundant with articles about Wordpress hosting, and you can choose from a variety of plans to suit any need.
Basic hosting costs between $2.78 and $5.98 per month for the first billing period, and managed WP cloud hosting would cost you between $3.98 and $11.18 per month.
While JustHost doesn't aim to please WP users specifically, they do offer a single click install of WP and a support center with nearly 100 articles about Wordpress.
This solid company doesn't boast much, but it provides the basic features required for hosting a WP site or blog.
At $3.95 per month, you'll receive all the essentials for hosting your WP site.
You can use Wordpress to build your website or to manage a part of it (usually, the blog).
Since most Wordpress web hosting companies offer a 1-click installation, or even pre-install the software for you, I'm not going to go in to unnecessary details about the click-by-click installation on every platform.
What I am going to do is to explain how the process works in principle, and how you should approach it.
I will be using the process on BlueHost for this demonstration, but even if you choose a different web host, be assured:
The process is very similar with every installer.
While BlueHost uses MOJO Marketplace to install Wordpress, other hosts may use Softaculous, QuickInstall, Fantastico, or other installers.
So, on to the process:
First of all, you will need to locate the "Install Wordpress" option on your control panel.
You will get this window and choose "Install".
Now you will select your domain, and if you only need to manage your blog using WP, you will also choose the relevant directory.
When done, click "Check Domain".
At this stage the installer will check your domain, which may take a few minutes.
The next stage is your agreement to the Terms of Service, and you can change your site's name, username and password under "Advanced Options".
Now, since I didn't actually host the site I used for this example on BlueHost, there's also that green little message.
In any case, you should click "Install Now" unless you're having second thoughts and would like to change your selected domain or directory. (In which case you click the second button).
Now you need to wait patiently as the installation progresses and finishes whithin a few minutes.
Now that the process is done, you can start using the Wordpress CMS to build your site.
Install themes, add plugins, and fill your site with valuable content which your readers will want to read and share.
If you're having any issues with your WP installation, you should know that every self-respecting WP hosting company provides plenty of information about their specific platform in their help section.
You just have to browse it for a bit or contact their support if you're having difficulties.
If you have a WP site and you decided to change your web host, you might feel trapped.
One of the services the top WP web hosts like InMotion offer is free no-downtime migration from your old host.
However, not every company is as advanced in this regard, and many companies still don't provide this service.
If you decide to register with a new host who doesn't offer such seamless transitions, you should know the process.
Instead of regurgitating (as many bloggers love to do), let me point you in the right direction so that you hear it straight from the horse's mouth.
Look at this page.
This tutorial covers all the important steps and aspects of both moving to a different provider, and even moving to your WP site to a new domain.
Bookmark this link, and come back to me to choose a new Wordpress hosting company.
We only send stuff you can use. No boring spam. We promise.